Apr 15, 2004

Magnetic Coagulation Process to Raise Montreal Water Standards, Committee Hopes

The Executive Committee of the City of Montréal has authorized a call for tenders for professional services to carry out a feasibility study for the implementation of a "magnetic coagulation" process at its drinking water production plants. The goal of this new technology is to improve the treatment of drinking water. The city will invest $40,000 and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will invest the same amount, for a total cost of $80,000 for this research.

"If the results of the study we are undertaking turn out to be conclusive, our drinking water will be produced with practically no chemical additives, and Montreal taxpayers will save several million dollars every year," said Mr. Alan DeSousa, the Executive Committee member responsible for the water dossier.

"Magnetic coagulation", which would be applied to water drawn from the river before it is filtered at the Atwater and Charles-J.- Des-Baillets plants, would produce a result similar to "chemical coagulation", which is already used in other plants that produce Montréal's drinking water. To remove the maximum amount of suspended solids from untreated water prior to filtration, the traditional technique consists of adding chemical products (like aluminum sulphate and ferric chloride) to the water to bind together these minuscule particles in order to get rid of them. The proposed project would replace this chemical attraction with electromagnetic attraction.

The objective of this research is threefold: 1) to guarantee the increased quality of the drinking water available to residents of Montreal; 2) to reduce the level of chemicals involved in treating water and 3) to conform to the stricter norms of the Loi québécoise sur le traitement et la production de l'eau potable. "Naturally, all of this is being done as part of Montréal's choice to pursue sustainable development," Mr. DeSousa added.